When I write these emails, I try to make sure you get a good mix of things that are useful on PCs, laptops, phones and tablets. I know not everyone has one of each, so to keep it useful I include a mix.
But this time I’ve got something that can be really handy whichever you use – particularly if you use any two (or even two of the same – eg a laptop at home and a PC at work).
When you’re browsing the web, sometimes your web browser will remember things for you to make your life easier. Usually little things like when you start typing in a web address – you get as far as www.hel and it finishes it for you as www.helpfulbooks.co.uk
It works because it knows you’ve been to that site before and so there’s a good chance that’s the one you want this time (and if it isn’t, you can just keep typing and you haven’t lost out).
Similarly it might finish filling out some web forms for you or remember other bits and bobs.
But if you’ve (say) visited a website on one device (say your laptop) and then want to visit it on another one (say your phone), then the phone doesn’t know that you’ve been to that website, so can’t finish it off for you.
Except, if it’s set up right, it can.
For example, if you use Google Chrome on both devices, then you can make sure they’re both logged into your Google account and it will know that both devices are “you” and will share information between them, making life a bit easier.
To see if you’re already signed in, you can tap or click on the settings option, usually on the top right – or go to Google’s homepage and sign in from there.
If you have an Android phone you probably already have a google account from that – but your PC or laptop or tablet may not be signed into it. If you don’t have a phone, you may still have a Google account if you’ve ever used Google docs, Google Drive, Gmail or one of their other services… or it’ll let you set one up (free) if you don’t have one – again, just go to Google’s homepage to do this.
Then once both devices are signed in, it’ll start sharing information between them.
(This can also be useful if you switch from an old laptop or other device to a new one – if you’re signed into your Google account on both, then it’ll remember the things the old one had remembered about you, so you don’t need to start from new.)
If you use a different browser on both devices (say you use Edge on a desktop PC and a laptop), then you log into the relevant account on both of those – eg for Edge it would be a Microsoft account as Edge is made by Microsoft.
Of course, I’ve been talking recently about privacy and you may not want both devices to know what each other are doing. And this is one way you can be tracked as still being you when you’re on a different device. If you’re not happy with that, you might want to go into the settings of your browsers and make sure they aren’t both signed into the same account (or to any account). Just be aware that this is only one method that can be used to tell it’s you on both devices – there are far more sophisticated methods that will still be able to be used on you.
Last time I’ll mention…
Which brings me neatly on to the Privacy book – this is the last time I plan to mention it in the newsletter so if you’ve been sitting on the fence, not sure whether to get a copy or not, now’s the time to decide one way or the other.
If you missed it, the video is here and the full information (which also lets you order a copy if you like) is here.